It may not be the easiest to get to but if you appreciate expertly poured high-quality coffee drinks, a little extra effort might be worth it. Aside from expert espressos and cultivated cappuccinos, try a heavenly hot chocolate and/or a perfect pastry.
Valentine's is like going down to your cool friend's basement, where he's set up his own little bar. "Check this out!" he says. "It's ginger bourbon! Yeah? Try it with lime juice!" You sip it, and damn if it isn't amazing. "Oh, and I made up a cocktail," adds your cool friend with a basement. "I call it the Valentino. It's got peppadew in it. Try it!" You try it. It's wonderful. Everything in your cool friend's basement is wonderful. Everything there speaks to fun, experimentation, and sideways thinking. You feel, for a moment, comforted to know such smart, interesting people. Valentine's is just like that, except it's a real bar, and it's not in a basement. JOE STRECKERT
Adorned with political/presidential memorabilia, the Bipartisan serves Stumptown coffee, Tao of Tea teas, has some tasty sandwiches, bagles and best of all -pie! Get a cuppa, grab a slice and talk donkeys vs. elephants.
Escape from New York is still the best joint in town for a greasy, floppy slice of New York-style pizza, dished up by Escape's affably surly staff. Toppings are minimal, you won't find artichoke hearts or pineapple here. A focus on quality ingredients and a mastery of the Holy Trinity of pizza (sauce, cheese, and crust) make Escape perhaps the best reason to brave NW 23rd.
Rest assured, you will not be sending any innocent animals into the sweet hereafter by eating at the Sweet Hereafter. The folks responsible for Alberta's popular vegan bar Bye and Bye bring you it's Southeast counterpart.